Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2007-08-06 20:42
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Yanks snapped the Blue Jays' eight-home-game winning streak yesterday afternoon with a nifty come-from-behind win on Simcoe Day in Toronto.

The Bombers got on the board first by cashing in a leadoff triple by Melky Cabrera in the third, but the Blue Jays answered with two in the bottom of the inning, both plated by a booming Frank Thomas double to left field. The Jays added a run in the fifth by bringing home a leadoff double by John McDonald to make it 3-1, but that merely set the stage for the Yankee comeback.

Bobby Abreu got things started in the top of the sixth by drawing a full-count walk. Alex Rodriguez, who Jays starter Jessie Litsch threw behind in the first inning, likely retaliation for the Rod Said "Ha!" incident, followed with a single to drive Litsch from the game. Hideki Matsui greeted lefty reliever Scott Downs with a single of his own that plated Abreu and, after Jorge Posada struck out, Robinson Cano put the Yankees out front with an double that scored Rodriguez and Matsui. Cano then moved to third on an Andy Phillips groundout and scored when his buddy Melky singled him home to make it 5-3 Yanks.

Andy Pettitte got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the sixth, getting the hook with two out and two on following a four-pitch walk to McDonald. Fresh up from triple-A, Jim Brower was fortunate enough to have the scalding line drive Reed Johnson hit off him go directly to Rodriguez at third to end the inning. Brower then gave up a single to Alex Rios to start the seventh at which point Joe Torre went straight to Luis Vizcaino who finished the inning without further damage, but pressed into getting five outs gave up a solo home run to Aaron Hill in the eighth to allow the Blue Jays within one. With two outs in the eight, Vizcaino walked Lyle Overbay on a full count, then hit pinch-hitter Matt Stairs in the leg with a slider that slipped, but Joe Torre, having used Mariano Rivera for four outs on Sunday, refused to even warm Rivera up in the eighth and, with Brian Bruney and Ron Villone feverishly warming up in the pen, Vizcaino got Johnson to ground out to end the threat. Rivera then slammed the door in the ninth, striking out the heart of the Toronto order (Rios, Vernon Wells, and Thomas) and regularly hitting 96 on the YES Network's radar gun.

The 5-4 win slips the Yankees past the idle Mariners in the Wild Card race. The Bombers now stand alone in second place, a mere half game behind the slumping Tigers (though they still trail both Detroit and Seattle by a game in the loss column).

As for Jim Brower, he was the man called up to replace Mike Myers who was designated for assignment after Sunday's game. Brower, however, is a generic 34-year-old journeyman righty reliever on his eleventh organization (he was released by the Pirates in late April after just six triple-A appearances). Sure, he was having a fantastic season in Scranton (1.65 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 2.96 GB/FB, 40 K and 11 BB in 43 2/3 IP), but he's not a solution. He's much closer to being an older, right-handed Wayne Franklin. That Edwar Ramirez is back to his old tricks with Scranton (9 2/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 15 K since being sent down in late July), and Chris Britton has just come off the DL (he's pitched twice since being activated and allowed a run in two innings) makes the decision to promote Brower even more regrettable. The Yankees simply don't have enough room for error to allow Brower to prove as useful as the last Brower to wear pinstripes.

Fortunately, the solution just may be on his way. Peter Abraham reports that Joba Chamberlain has been sent to Toronto and will likely be activated for today's game. Word is that Jeff Karstens will be demoted to make room for him. That supports what Joe Torre said prior to yesterdays game about no longer trying to force lefty-on-lefty matchups now that Myers is gone. Karstens continued presence would have suggested that Torre intended to rely on him as a long man while using Villone as a matchup lefty, but without Karstens, Villone remains the long man, and Chamberlain and Vizcaino become the final pieces of this team's long awaited Big Three without a lefty in the picture to muck things up. I like it. Now if they'd only swap out Brower and Farnsworth for Ramirez and Britton (and dump Miguel Cairo when activating Jason Giambi, who is due to arrive in Toronto today as well).

Comments (59)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-08-06 23:56:24
1.   DadinIowa
I am excited to see Joba pitch. Too bad Karstens had to go. Would rather have seen Brower go down or DFA. Maybe will yet see Britton, etc. Have to give Kudos to Cashman, etc. for remaking bullpen "on the fly". Why am I confident it will work out?
2007-08-06 23:58:08
2.   BklynBmr
0 If, just if, Farns was sent to SWB, would he report? And what would be the technicalities if he refused? Contact/union considerations, etc...
2007-08-07 01:59:17
3.   OldYanksFan
Useless Information Dept:
Please coorect me if I'm wrong (I didn't use a calculator), but I think the Yanks have the BEST pathag record in MLB.
How lucky is this: Seattle: RS/RA - 526/529 -11 games over .500
Almost as lucky as this: Arizona RS/RA - 467/496 13 games over .500
2007-08-07 02:17:45
4.   OldYanksFan
BklynBmr - A bit late for you, isn't it?
2007-08-07 03:11:02
5.   OldYanksFan
I don't know if it's true, but I found this on another blog.
"The #1 pitching farm system in Baseball - Baseball America and BaseballProspectus."

If this is true, Cashman doesn't deserve a metal, he deserves a statue.

2007-08-07 04:26:39
6.   seamus
5 I'd believe it these days.
2007-08-07 04:35:22
7.   seamus
NY Daily News is apparently reporting Edwar will be back up later this week. My head is spinning.
2007-08-07 04:46:41
8.   JL25and3
2 "The contract of a Player with five or more years of Major League Service...shall not be assigned otherwise than to another Major League Club, without the Player's written consent." He could simply refuse, with no ramifications whatsoever.
2007-08-07 04:50:39
9.   OldYanksFan
I think this is old news to most, but just in case:
From PeteAbe: Asked whether the arrival of Jason Giambi could result in Cabrera losing time, Joe Torre shook his head. "He's our center fielder," he said.
2007-08-07 05:05:51
10.   bp1
A good part of me was hoping to come in this morning and read a Bronx Banter style recap of the "A Farewell to the Captain" game. One more in a long list of magical moments at Yankee Stadium. Wow.
2007-08-07 05:21:05
11.   ny2ca2dc
0 That last paragraph actually made me shutter. Please make it so. 9 I caught that yesterday, and boy is that sweet. Maybe JD & Farns could be spun for something - because of their $$, seems like a good chance they'd make it through waivers.
2007-08-07 05:46:19
12.   cult of basebaal
Jaba! Jaba!! Jaba!!!

just the news i needed to cushion the fact i'm waking up on the wrong side of the country this morning ... sweeeeeet!

2007-08-07 05:50:15
13.   RIYank
11 Problem is that those salaries will also make them awfully difficult to move. Who wants to spend $8M next year for a bullpen guy who won't be outperformed by Joe Replacement? Damon's a little different, he's an overpaid good player, which is not as hard to trade as an overpaid replacement player.
2007-08-07 05:56:37
14.   ChrisS
13 But Farns can throw 100!

I think some teams would be happy to take on JD with a little salary help, how his season turns out is pretty much a crap shoot.

2007-08-07 06:00:01
15.   Murray
How lucky can you get?

FAN GIVES MATSUI SOUVENIR Alex Rodriguez left New York without his 500th home run ball, but Hideki Matsui got his 100th home run ball back from the fan who caught it Sunday. The fan had one to spare, since he also caught Melky Cabrera's homer later in that game. In exchange for Matsui's memento, the fan was given a ball and a bat autographed by Matsui.

2007-08-07 06:03:05
16.   ChrisS
0 If those are the lineup moves that Cash makes, I can't be unhappy with the bullpen situation, other than how they are used ... lead a horse to water and all that.

I still don't get the Brower call up, except to make him eligible for the post-season in an emergency, but even so.

2007-08-07 06:08:04
17.   JL25and3
13 If it's any help, Struggling Mightily Farnsworth makes "only" $5.5M next year.

And he throws 100 mph!

2007-08-07 06:19:41
18.   Shaun P
9 Hooray! Now follow through, Joe - follow through.

17 I don't know if Farnsworth will get moved during August, but I'd almost guarantee at this point he's not on the team come Spring Training.

2007-08-07 06:23:40
19.   RIYank
3 I have us just a single point worse than Boston in Pythagorean record (.627 to .626). That's using the squaring formula, the classic Pythagorean, rather than the supergeeky exponent of 1.7 or whatever it is.

17 A bargain!
(Will there be a BFOG discount? Clearance?)

2007-08-07 06:26:44
20.   Shaun P
16 I think I've got it worked out. Farnsworth can't pitch on back-to-back days. Torre has been told NOT to overwork Joba, which means he can't pitch back-to-back days either. That leaves:

Mo (closer)
Villone (long man)
Vizcaino (7th/8th inning guy, depending on Joba's availability)
Bruney (7th inning guy)

which leaves a hole for those games where Andy, Moose, Clemens, or Hughes only get through 5. Brower - who Torre has said can pitch multiple innings multiple days - fills that hole. Call it the EDSP hole. =)

The issue will disappear as soon as rosters expand. It also would go away if Farnsworth is let go. =)

2007-08-07 06:28:42
21.   OldYanksFan
Farns has value as a reclaimation project. He is historically league average and DOES THROW 100. If someone can teach him to pitch, he has value to a team with a poor BP. Why DFA him and loose his entire salary, when if we eat 1/2 of it, we can probably trade him.
2007-08-07 06:32:16
22.   ChuckM
That's why he got that contract in the first place-he throws 100 and the Yanks thought THEY could teach him to pitch...
2007-08-07 06:38:38
23.   Shaun P
Maybe the Brewers would want Kyle? Cordero, their closer, has been awful lately, especially on the road, and Mike Maddux has experience "fixing" tall righty headcases who throw 100 MPH (Derrick Turnbow). Plus they are in a tight race with the Cubs.
2007-08-07 06:39:13
24.   ChrisS
20 EDJB?
2007-08-07 06:39:55
25.   ny2ca2dc
22 That's probably OYF's point - someone else will make the same mistake.

I have a prediction: if Farns can't be dumped somewhere, and all the other guys are clearly better, he'll tweak a hammy or something and go on the DL till rosters expand. Mark it down. Call it getting Phillips-ed.

2007-08-07 06:40:31
26.   jalexei
"I don't know if it's true, but I found this on another blog. - - The #1 pitching farm system in Baseball - Baseball America and BaseballProspectus."

The Times had an article a few weeks ago about the embarrassment of riches the Yanks have pitching in Trenton right now - Caveat Emptor and all that (how many "phenoms" at AA never make the bigs for any of a hundred reasons) but it sounds like any one of them would be a top prospect, and the Yanks have like four of them....

2007-08-07 06:57:35
27.   RIYank
23 I just noticed that the other day, about Cordero. Is that the most incredible home/away split you've ever seen? A lot of it must be luck.

Home .148 .58 .097
Away .529 8.62 .543

And those aren't cherry-picked stats, all his splits are like that.

2007-08-07 06:58:45
28.   RIYank
Darn, that didn't line up. Well, it should be easy enough to see what I meant. Or just check it out here:

2007-08-07 07:24:25
29.   Mike from Hoboken
Re: Joba
The Post had a Q&A with him on Sunday. One of the questions: "Who was your baseball idol when you were growing up?" Joba's answer: Chipper Jones.

I am old.

2007-08-07 07:28:46
30.   Shaun P
29 Do you have a link to that, by any chance?
2007-08-07 07:28:46
31.   ChrisS
29 In the latest ESPN Magazine cover story on Prince Fielder, he names Derek Jeter as a major influence on him as a kid.
2007-08-07 07:37:35
32.   Mattpat11
Lets put the birds down tonight.

I'm an odd sort. The Blue Jays annoy me more than any other team, because for some reason, they think they're good.

Its the Doug Mientkiewicz principal.

2007-08-07 07:42:17
33.   JL25and3
19 Farnsworth's BFOG+ is about 38. I don't know what his belly's full of, but it sure ain't guts.

23 Don't the Brewers want to win that close race?

2007-08-07 07:49:54
34.   Mattpat11
33 Dude. he throws ONE HUNDRED MILES PER HOUR.

How can he possibly fail for the Brewers?

2007-08-07 07:52:12
35.   RIYank
23 'Fixing' Farns, that's a good idea. I wish more people were as responsible with their pets.

33 That's what I meant, a discount for his rather severe BFOG deficit.

2007-08-07 07:53:17
36.   ChrisS
2007-08-07 08:15:46
37.   ny2ca2dc
36 thanks for the link. I'm loving this section:

"Q: Favorite actor?
A: Adam Sandler.

Q: Favorite actress?
A: Jessica Biel. "

He can meet Sandler at a game, and can probably ask Jeter about Jessica Biel... nice.

2007-08-07 08:20:07
38.   yankz
Oh come on, I totally posted that Joba interview a couple nights ago, and I beat 37 to the Jeter/Biel thing!
2007-08-07 08:20:30
39.   JL25and3
37 Apparently Joba doesn't consider acting talent to be a major criterion.
2007-08-07 08:28:57
40.   Schteeve
9 Man, that is good to hear.
2007-08-07 08:32:41
41.   JL25and3
40 Joe's been really consistent on that one for at least a couple of weeks.
2007-08-07 08:52:48
42.   yankz
The guy who caught A-Rod's 500th is a tool (see LoHud). Jeez, I would just ask for a ball signed by Jeter and A-Rod and a chance to meet them.
2007-08-07 08:57:16
43.   Schteeve
42 In fairness to that guy, the Yanks tried to hustle him. They offered him some signed jerseys and and bats for a $50k ball.
2007-08-07 08:57:35
44.   mehmattski
39 Hey, Biel was good in Seventh Heaven :-)
2007-08-07 09:07:58
45.   rsmith51
I don't understand why people who catch balls are "encouraged" to just take signed jersey or bats. ARod can afford to pony up 50k for a ball if he really wants it. If he doesn't someone else will. I imagine Matsui's 100 HR ball would be pretty valuable in Japan. I would hold out for the highest bidder, and then maybe donate most or all of it to charity.
2007-08-07 09:20:48
46.   Knuckles
45 I don't see what all the fuss is about the ball. It's a round number, but that's it. If I was the guy who caught it, I'd use the situation to my advantage as well. A-Rod doesn't own it- the kid does. If something landed in my lap that had the power to drastically pay down a good chunk of my mortgage, I don't think I'd be so quick to give it away for a signed jersey or whatever. Call me cynical, but handing the ball back to a guy who makes $25M/year, in exchange for his signature and a handshake is foolish.
2007-08-07 09:21:35
47.   SF Yanks
0 "Now if they'd only swap out Brower and Farnsworth for Ramirez and Britton (and dump Miguel Cairo when activating Jason Giambi"

What a dream that would be. That would complete me.

Re: Joba's interview. Sounds like a good guy who is easy to root for. Can't wait to see him pitch (tonight?)

2007-08-07 09:23:09
48.   Mike from Hoboken
Here's that Q&A with Joba.
2007-08-07 09:25:34
49.   ny2ca2dc
38 Sorry bud, i was out of town and unplugged. Great minds think alike though.

39 Why the hell should he, have you seen that ...............

2007-08-07 09:30:18
50.   Schteeve
I'm loving this baseball season. All the ups and downs...awesome.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-08-07 09:55:54
51.   OldYanksFan
"Mickey Mantle's 500th homer ball sold at auction last week for $150,000. Industry experts, using that, have said A-Rod's ball could be worth between $75,000 and $100,000."
2007-08-07 10:37:26
52.   JL25and3
46 "Jeez, I would just ask for a ball signed by Jeter and A-Rod and a chance to meet them."

That was my first reaction, but I've changed my mind. I mean, seriously, what's this ball really mean to him? He's already got a ton of balls, and he'll get a ton more - not to mention his MVPs and whatever other shiny stuff he accumulates, along with bats and gloves and unis and whatever.

For him, it's just another ball to go between 400 and 600. To me, on the other hand - damn, having Alex Rodriguez's 500th home run ball! There's no way it would mean as much to him as it would to me. I'd keep it, and the hell with the signed bats.

2007-08-07 10:38:20
53.   yankz
49 I'm just playing, hope you had a nice trip.

As for your "........."- oh hell yes.

2007-08-07 10:41:33
54.   yankz
52 I think I remember reading that this ball meant a lot to A-Rod and that he usually doesn't collect stuff. Regardless, I don't know, if I really wanted the money that badly, I'd ask for something else signed and then sell that once A-Rod is in the HOF (yeah, I know I would never get equal value).

A-rod has a much better attitude about this than I do. I think he said something like, "Good for him. I'd like it back, but whatever."

2007-08-07 10:50:29
55.   JL25and3
54 I wasn't talking about keeping it for the money. I would keep it just to have it.
2007-08-07 12:44:41
56.   Shaun P
36 48 Thank you.

My favorite part of the Q&A:

"Q: Favorite Christmas?

A: The first time I ever got a Sega Genesis."

Dude is alright.

2007-08-07 15:05:12
57.   cult of basebaal
so yeah, joba & gambino in ... bruney and cairo OUT!
if we could just swap Krazy for The Warrior, we're almost there
2007-08-07 15:08:27
58.   cult of basebaal
oh yeah, villone for henn and brower for edwar ... and that's the team i want for the postseason ...
2007-08-07 15:11:31
59.   cult of basebaal
argh! edwar's so good, he can obviously pitch for two! fine, keep brower ... or bring up Ohllie!!! I don't care, i'm just for The Hut!!!

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